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Friday, 18 November 2011
Daniel Chopra   (Getty Images)
Daniel Chopra (Getty Images)

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Daniel Chopra holds a commanding four shot lead after two days of the Iskandar Johor Open.

The Swede returned to Horizon Hills to complete a first round 64, one behind overnight leader Joost Luiten.

But the 37 year old two-time US PGA Tour winner then added a second round 65 to reach 13 under par in Malaysia.

That was four ahead of Dutchman Luiten, who was one under after six holes of his second round when bad light halted play for the day following further storm delays.

"It was an early start for me this morning. I had a good feel to finish my first round with a few birdies and I made another good putt for birdie on my first hole this morning, which got my second round off to the perfect start," Chopra said.

"I didn't drive the ball as well as I did yesterday, but my putting was perfect and my wedges were great.

"My iron play needs a little bit more work on the driving range this afternoon but if I can get that sorted out and get some rhythm with that, then hopefully I should be in for a good weekend."

Chopra has never won on the European Tour, but 18 years after his first professional victory in Malaysia he hopes to change that in the same country.

“My first ever professional win was here in Johor so I have fond memories here. I love Asia. I grew up in India and spent all my youth travelling around Asia. This is my second home,” he added.

Chopra’s compatriots Christian Nilsson and Michael Jonzon, as well as Bangladesh’s Siddikur, are all in the clubhouse at eight under par.

Jonzon shot a 65 as he looks to secure his card for next season, having started the week precariously placed at 108th on The Race to Dubai – only the top 115 will retain playing privileges after the UBS Hong Kong Open.

“I’ve never really worried about it too much to be honest,” he said. “I’ve always been confident that I’d keep my card, so now the target is just to finish as high up as I possibly can.”

Siddikur and Nilsson both posted consecutive rounds of 67, with defending champion Padraig Harrington amongst those on seven under after playing the first nine holes of his second round in level par.

At 57th in The Race to Dubai Nilsson has a very different aim to his compatriot Jonzon – with the top 60 making the season-ending Dubai World Championship presented by DP World.

“I’ve been steadily improving for the last three or four years and climbing the rankings, so hopefully I can finish in the top 60 this season,” he added. “That would mean a lot to me, because it’s something I’ve never achieved before.” 

The second round will resume at 7.20am local time on Saturday.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LUITEN, JoostNED18-15
2CHOPRA, DanielSWE18-14
T3DAVIES, RhysWAL18-13
T3MORRISON, JamesENG18-13
T3HARRINGTON, PadraigIRL18-13
6BOURDY, GrégoryFRA18-12
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